Monday, June 21, 2010

Sometimes Pocket Protectors Are The Way To Go

I prefer to live an unencumbered life. I never understood why women chose to carry purses and bags, when pockets are so much easier. I mean, they're attached to your body by virtue of the existence of hips, and with the right cargo pants, you could carry the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion on your person at all times (not that I speak from experience or anything...). However, I do have some sense of fashion, if you wish to call it that. I've never willingly wore a waist-pouch/fanny pack because they are ridiculous and make you a target for bullies and lowlifes (again, not speaking from experience). And I would suppose pocket protectors would fall in the same line, those articles clothes that instantly pigeon-holes you in a certain social class... overalls...
...or hooker shoes.
But I cannot help but deny my true dorkdom. Running around class all day, tending to hopeless children who don't know how to fold paper in half, or use a straw to transfer a liquid, the shirt-pocket has become my best friend. Pencils, markers, dry erase pens, rulers, scissors, straws, chopsticks, bags of apples have all found their way in to my shirt pocket (this was just one day). By the end of the day, my shirt pocket is so laden down with the tools of my trade that my shirt starts to sag in a rather unflattering manner. Here's what my shirt looked like half-way through the day today:

The tally is three dry erase pens, a black ball point pen, a mechanical pencil, a mini-ruler, two black Sharpie pens, my name tag, a clarinet reed and mouthpiece (I had a bet with one of the girls that I could play clarinet. She owes me $10. I intend to collect), and finally a small foam plane. Why the small foam plane you ask? Well, one of my darling students, A--, came to school today, like any other day. However, today of all days, his mother forgot to come and give him his medication. Medication that he desperately needs to calm down. Medicine I really wish he had today. So while he was throwing his plane around my classroom while I was trying to get everyone settled, I crept up behind him and snatched it out of the air, refusing to return it to him unless he settled down and kept quiet the rest of the class. In all seriousness, I'm told he has a behavioral condition where he doesn't understand consequences and cannot process things like that, so I wasn't surprised he was running around 5 minutes later.

But yes, I love my shirt-pocket. It has served me so well, and perhaps I'll get it a nice pocket protector as a treat. All I need is a slide-rule and I'm a nerd from the 70's. Home sweet home.
I do seriously want a slide rule. I think I know how they work, in theory. Either that or an astrolabe, but I think slide rules are easier to procure and operate.

Today was hell. The only saving grace was that I got paid for my first full week (I thought it was just a part time gig, but when you add up the actual hours, it's a little more that 3/4 time). And even though the Gov'ment took a huge chunk of my hard earned money for silly things like Medicare and Social Security, it's nice to be rewarded. But, boy, did I have to work for that money today. I don't know what it was today. Perhaps it was a particularly exciting weekend with Father's Day and all. Perhaps there was too much sugar in their canned peaches. I don't know, but they were horrible. Absolutely horrible. I did a lot of yelling and pointing. A lot of time-outs in the corner and "this is your special chair. You will sit in this chair for the rest of class. I don't want to hear you talk. At all." At which point I would drag the chair to the farthest corner. At one point, the youngest group took their customary bathroom/water break during my class (I've learned to schedule in this disruption), leaving only 4 students in the room with me. They decided it would be a good idea to hide under the desks and yell surprise when the other kids came back. I told them several times "no". I even physically "removed" them from under the desks. But they would not be denied their surprise. I'll leave the ensuing screaming, shouting, running and punching to your imagination (no, I did not punch any of the kids. Not to say I didn't think about it).

Today we did chromatography with paper towels and various pens and markers. I had the older groups in the morning, which was inspiring, if not a little messy. They understood the whole deal with polarity and travel distances along the chromatography strip. Even the younger 1st/2nd graders understood it to a certain extent. But, damn, was this messy. I thought, okay, markers are pretty clean. Ha, I have so much to learn. Because the instruction "just dip the tip", an illustration on the board, and an up close, one-on-one demo by yours truly is simply not clear enough to convey the message "don't dunk the whole thing in the alcohol", the ink went everywhere. I have things to clean up this week. Pretty much every single desk. Goody.

Things to look forward to at the end of the week:
We'll be starting biology, with adaptation and evolution games at the end of the week. Haven't done this since Bio Honors with Liem in 9th grade, but I think I remember everything.

Friday we have an open house, for which I must prepare a video of sorts, and some other presentation of sorts. Followed immediately by a sleepover for the older kids. Luckily most of my kids aren't sleeping over (thank god. I guess they came to the same realization that sleeping in a cafeteria is not fun. I know what they drop on the floor. And I know no one mops the floor either). I'm told I'm not supposed to sleep since I'm chaperoning. We'll see how that goes. As long as I can find an internet connection, I think I can manage. Either that or I can spend my time tormenting the kids. I have a black hooded cape and scary masks. I'm sure I can think of something to do. Don't worry, it's nearly impossible for little kids to have heart attacks. They have been known to wet themselves though.

1 comment:

  1. You can fit a bag of apples in your shirt pocket? How many apples is that? I wanna see a picture of that.

    I wonder if these kids behave this way during the regular school year or if they're just behaving this way because this is a summer camp, so they're not taking it seriously.

    I was just thinking you'd feel pretty bad if you scared someone and he died on the spot from a heart attack. Would you be charged with involuntary manslaughter?